The 2022-23 Champions League season on Paramount+ continues this month with the playoff round as teams compete for the remaining six group stage spots. The two-leg affairs began last week and will be concluded on Tuesday and Wednesday as we find out the final six teams to qualify for group stage action.
Some storied clubs take the field, with the slate highlighted by PSV vs. Rangers, who gave us a wild first leg last week in a 2-2 draw.
Here's what to know about this week's action:
How to watch
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1. PSV, Rangers could be another high scoring affair
If that first match was anything to go off of, the second leg in the Netherlands could be something else. The first leg saw both teams score in both halves, there were 21 total shots and 11 of them went on frame. The tie is all square after that opening leg, and these are not teams to sit back and let the other team dictate pace. Expect another open, entertaining match where one mistake can make all the difference.
2. Bodo/Glint look to spring another surprise
You probably hadn't even heard of Bodo/Glint before last season. I considered myself a soccer expert, and I had absolutely no idea who they were, thinking it was a typo on the Europa Conference League schedule. But the Norwegian side made a name for themselves, beating eventual champ AS Roma twice in the competition. Now they are potentially 90 minutes away from making the Champions League group stage for the first time. They have gotten past three teams in qualifying to make it this far, and if they can finish off Dinamo Zagreb, they will be a favorite to become the newest UCL Cinderella. Not bad for a small team from Norway.
3. Red Star Belgrade's atmosphere can make all the difference
All to play for as Red Star Belgrade host Maccabi Haifa. But they should feel more than confident in overturning the one goal deficit from the first leg at home. The club boasts easily one of the best home-field advantages in all of soccer. Just envision the wildest crowd you can imagine and then multiply it by 10. There will be some electric scenes at the Rajko Mitic Stadium, and what that support and noise does for a player is difficult to describe. Emotions will be high, and don't be surprised if they look dominant on the way to a group stage spot.
All times Eastern
Tuesday, Aug. 23
Benfica (2) vs. Dynamo Kyiv (0), 3 p.m. on Paramount+
Crvena zvezda (2) vs. Maccabi Haifa (3), 3 p.m. on Paramount+
Viktoria Plzen (0) vs. Qarabag (0), 3 p.m. on Paramount+